The following resources focus on the educational climate and betterment of those serving the K–12 educational community.

 Arts Education: A Factor for Improvement—It is no secret that No Child Left Behind created an atmosphere focused on testing and the core subjects, but in the new Every Student Succeeds Act era, districts and schools are seeing a fresh opportunity to focus on a well-rounded education. The inclusion of the arts in a well-rounded education is part of this fresh perspective, and has already proven effective in schools like, Orchard Gardens K-8 school, where test scores and attendance rates have risen. Let’s hope that all districts see the opportunity to create robust, well-rounded opportunities in the coming school year (Boston Globe).

#EquityReads2016 is a list of reads and resources compiled by staff at NYCLA that have shaped their thinking and influenced their work—It includes books, articles, films and speeches from renowned researchers and thought leaders who have dedicated their careers to studying educational and racial equity in American society. NCYLA hopes that this list will inspire you and inform your work in the year ahead. This list is by no means comprehensive and they welcome you to share your favorites on Twitter using the hashtag #EquityReads2016.

California—New Program Aims to Create More Uniform Standards Among Linked Learning AcademiesCalifornia’s hundreds of high school career academies can now boost their prestige—and create a greater degree of uniformity—through a voluntary certification program, an education nonprofit announced Tuesday. (EdSource, Jan. 24)

Georgia Department of Education Launches Career Pipeline Tool  The Career Pipeline Tool, developed by the GaDOE in partnership with business, industry, education and state-agency partners, is a web application that allows students and business/industry leaders to compare the CTAE programs offered in each Georgia high school with the workforce needs of specific regions within the state. (Calhoun Times, Jan. 25)

Tennessee—Project Inspire Aims to Put Better Teachers in Schools with Poor, Minority StudentsSix years ago, the Public Education Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, launched Project Inspire to train middle and high school math and science teachers by placing them in classrooms of highly effective teachers for a full school year. After the residency year, Project Inspire graduates are expected to spend at least four years teaching in one of Hamilton County’s struggling schools. (Times Free Press, Jan. 18)

Evidence for ESSA: Coming Soon to a Server Near You!The Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University will launch a website that “reviews every math and reading program for grades K to 12” and determine which programs “meet the strong, moderate, or promising levels of evidence defined in ESSA.” According to Robert Slavin, director of the center, “Evidence for ESSA” will be an interactive online platform for stakeholders to find strong programs for various learning groups, study “ambassador schools,” and receive “commentary and advice from program users and developers.”

More Books in the Hands of Children & Families  To promote literacy and boost educational outcomes for children living in public housing, the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education and several non-profits partners launched a Book-Rich Environment (BRE) Initiative. BRE aims to transform Public Housing Agencies into book-rich environments by putting diverse, high quality books and other literacy tools into the hands of children and families living in HUD-assisted housing. It launches in 35 communities across the country beginning next month.

California—Report: Innovative Science Instruction Boosts Academic Performance Among English Learners  English learners can dramatically improve their science skills when teachers blend science lessons with language instruction, according to a new report released by an Oakland education nonprofit. (EdSource, Jan. 7)